February 23, 2024

Death row inmate offers to donate organs

Claims he can make “profound benefit to society”

Death row inmate Christian Longo has written in a New York Times opinion piece that he would like to donate his organs after his execution. Longo, who admits that he is guilty of the murder of his wife and three children, is awaiting death in a prison in Oregon. He complains that although his death would be “a profound benefit to society” prisons authorities have denied his request. Apparently no US law forbids death row donations, but no prisons facilitate it either. He claims that almost half of the 35 men with him on death row would do the same should their appeals run out.

“If I donated all of my organs today, I could clear nearly 1 percent of my state’s organ waiting list. I am 37 years old and healthy; throwing my organs away after I am executed is nothing but a waste.”

There are some obstacles, Longo admits: the organs might be tainted with infection and the prisoners might try to escape. A major problem is that the organs might be damaged if prisoners are executed with a three-drug lethal injection. He suggests changing to a single drug.

Bioethics writer Wesley J. Smith is sceptical and believes that Mr Longo is just grandstanding. He reminded his readers that the “sociopathological” Longo is a manipulative con artist who actually stole the identity of a New York Times reporter and then persuaded him to support his case and later his crusade for death row donations.  ~ New York Times, Mar 6; National Review, Mar 8

Death row inmate offers to donate organs
Jared Yee
death penalty
organ donation